Not all real estate transactions make it to the finish line, regardless of the best intent of everyone involved. From the time the seller accepts an offer to purchase from a prospective buyer, there are a number of conditions that must be met, by both the seller and buyer, and within certain time periods for the transaction to successfully close. For instance, failing to deliver required disclosures to a buyer within the agreed-to date (“contingency period”) can allow a buyer to cancel the offer. You can increase the odds of a successful sale by avoiding some common pitfalls that pop up during many transactions. If you’re dealing with Fairfield homes for sale and Vacaville homes for sale, check these out.

Not working with professionals. Some homeowners are confident that they can sell their homes themselves to save on real estate commissions. Often, though, they come to the realization that there is more to it than they thought. While you can certainly market your home yourself, and some folks have successfully done so, consider some of the responsibilities you’ll be taking on such as: market research to determine the appropriate asking price for your home, being available to show it to prospective buyers, negotiating the purchase price price, negotiating repair requests, providing the proper disclosures to buyers within specified timeframes, dealing with appraisal issues, and more. An experienced agent takes care of these issues when marketing Fairfield homes for sale and Vacaville homes for sale and often mitigates other issues in the background as they come up, such as communicating with lenders and escrow officers.

Not screening buyers. Getting an offer on your home can be exciting, for both you and the prospective buyer. But don’t let the exuberance keep you from doing some research to determine if your buyer is in a position to complete the purchase. Your prospective buyer should have at the minimum a pre-qualification letter from his or her lender stating that the buyer has met the minimum qualifications to obtain a loan up to a specific amount. Even better, the buyer will submit a pre-approval letter from the lender with the offer to purchase. In Fairfield homes for sale and Vacaville homes for sale, pre-approval means that the buyer’s finances have been examined by the lender and that the lender’s qualifications have been met, increasing the likelihood of the home loan being approved. Unfortunately, failed loans are a major reason that transactions are not successful.

Not screening the offer. There’s typically a lot more than just the offer price in a purchase agreement, so it’s important to thoroughly review the offer for conditions. Does the buyer have to sell his/her home before purchasing yours? How soon does the buyer wish to take possession of the home? Is the buyer asking for some items to convey with the sale, such as the washer/dryer, fridge, window dressings, or furniture? Is the buyer asking the seller to provide credits or concessions? In Fairfield homes for sale and Vacaville homes for sale, make sure you understand what is being asked for and if the offer is still acceptable given the terms.

Failing to disclose. California has some of the strictest disclosure requirements in the country, with sellers required to provide detailed information about the property. Sellers can be reluctant to point out issues they’re aware of in their Fairfield homes for sale and Vacaville homes for sale, but failing to disclose known issues can not only cause a deal to fall through, but also exposes the seller to legal liability. The required information includes from very basic information about the property to the presence of environmental hazards in the area. Failing to disclose the required information within a specified time period can allow the buyer to withdraw his or her offer (and deposit) with no penalty.

Inspection Issues. In California, buyers are afforded a period to have various professional property inspections performed within a specific period, unless waived. The most common inspections in Fairfield homes for sale and Vacaville homes for sale are for wood destroying organisms (pest report), roof inspection, and whole-house inspection. While there is typically some overlap in these inspections, each focuses on different areas. The roof inspection is self-explanatory; the pest inspection focuses on the wood components of the building, such as termite infestation, water leaks or dry rot under or around the home. The whole-house inspection covers mostly interior components, with testing of electrical outlets, checking appliances for proper operation, operating lighting fixtures, looking for plumbing leaks, and much more. If issues are discovered, it will likely require additional negotiation with the buyer to either have repairs made prior to closing, provide a credit to the buyer or see if the buyer will waive repairs (likely requiring lender approval), or cancel the transaction. Depending on the issue(s) discovered, the buyer may be able to unilaterally cancel the offer based on the inspection reports. (Check out our previous blog on preparing your Fairfield homes for sale and Vacaville homes for sale for inspections.)

Appraisal issues. Sometimes a property doesn’t appraise for the amount being offered, leading to the lender not approving the loan. There can be a few reasons for this, including the home being overpriced to begin with, recent changes in the local housing market, or a particularly conservative appraiser. Again, this is where you may need to put on your negotiating cap to see if it makes sense to continue with the transaction based on the value the appraisal came in at. If common ground can’t be found, the lender will not release funds and the transaction can’t proceed. This is an important issue if you’re trying to put up Fairfield homes for sale and Vacaville homes for sale.

Lender issues. This is something that can rear its ugly head at any time during the transaction of Fairfield homes for sale and Vacaville homes for sale, sometimes right before the sale is expected to close. The buyer may have made a large purchase while the transaction is in process (a new car or furniture, for instance), lost his/her job, or otherwise is no longer able to qualify for a home loan. These things can happen even if the buyer had been previously approved by the lender. You can reduce the odds of this happening if the buyer has been properly screened at the time the offer was presented, but keep in mind that real estate deals can fall through.

Being properly prepared and mitigating issues before they come up will give you the best odds that your deal will lead to a successful sale. Using a licensed Realtor increases the odds even more. Realtors sell homes for a living and have the experience to know the pitfalls that can occur in a sale and how to address many of these issues or avoid them altogether. If you’re looking for Fairfield homes for sale and Vacaville homes for sale or trying to sell, contact Community Real Estate today.